The North Long Beach community got a first look at the $ 26 million Great Artesia Boulevard project this week, with city officials unveiling renderings of high-visibility crosswalks, protected bike lanes and a new mural , among other improvements.
Deputy Mayor Rex Richardson, who represents District 9 on City Council, gave residents an overview of the planned 3.5-mile corridor renovation project on Wednesday evening, July 28 at the Doris Topsy-Elvord Community Center during the first in a series of community meetings dubbed “Thrive 90805”. This name refers to the postcode in which most of the Ninth District resides.
“The Great Artesia Boulevard project will set a new standard of livability in our community of North Long Beach,” said Richardson. “It creates a safer and cleaner environment for families, improves the attractiveness of the neighborhood and prepares the state for continued economic progress. “
Long Beach Public Affairs Director Eric Lopez, Acting City Engineer Carl Hickman and other city officials on the project joined Richardson to set the roadmap and gather feedback from residents.
“When you have the chance to reinvigorate and completely rebuild this streetscape, it’s a type of opportunity once in a generation,” Lopez said. “We’re talking about a $ 20 million investment to really work on what we’ve built so far in the surrounding neighborhoods and keep moving the city forward.”
Long Beach already has nearly $ 13 million for the street overhaul, with the rest to come from the Metropolitan Transportation District and the state Department of Transportation. The remaining funding, Lopez said, is expected to be allocated soon and the project could begin in the winter.
The Artesia improvement project, said Richardson, was selected as the no. 1 regional project to be supported among several agencies, including the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
Renderings of the entire hallway reinvention included new signage, parking lots, protected cycle lanes, safer crosswalks, and efforts to create a safer environment for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Some of the main safety features introduced by Hickman, 12 improved traffic lights and dedicated turn signals at certain intersections. The project would also include the installation of a fiber optic cable that will allow closed circuit television cameras to connect to the traffic control headquarters in downtown Long Beach.
“We can monitor things to make sure traffic is moving safely and efficiently,” Hickman said. “As an interim municipal engineer, my first priority is safety. “
Before the meeting ended, Richardson invited residents to provide input by attaching sticky notes to the hallway prints. These notes included general suggestions, such as locations for crosswalks and signage, to more specific issues, including a traffic problem in an automated car wash at the corner of Orange Avenue and Artesia Boulevard.
“Sometimes cars flee on the street and block traffic and bikers,” said Stacy Green, a resident of North Long Beach. “Cars come and go through the same driveway and that also puts pedestrians at risk. “
The city can use the comments to find a solution to such problems, said Mouhsen Habib, project management manager for the public works department.
Richardson, meanwhile, also unveiled details on Wednesday of the ‘Activate Uptown Open Streets’ event on August 21, which will shut Artesia to motor vehicles for a block party with live music, activities, food. and a live wall installation.
Thrive 90805 community meetings will run every other Wednesday through September and will address a variety of livability issues, including economic opportunities on August 11; empowerment of the neighborhood on August 25; health, food safety and activity on September 8; and the future of young people on September 22. Each meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Topsy-Elvord Community Center, 6301 Myrtle Ave.